When are speakers considered Hi-Fi and not Mid-Fi???

What determines the status of "Hi-Fi?" I was recently considering a pair of Klipsch Heritage Cornwall speakers. They get rave reviews, have almost a cult-like following, no longer have harshness from the horns, and are very resolving. Other than not reaching down too low into the bass as some speakers do, why are they not considered Hi-Fi? They can clearly reproduce the full range of sound with an incredible image and are not missing any capability in person or on paper. Seems when we follow a thread on here about most any speaker at any price there is always a contingent that feels to need to post that the certain speakers under discussion are Mid-Fi not Hi-Fi. I only use the Klipsch Cornwalls as an example to start. Budget is not an issue, and cost should not dictate. I was also looking at the Magnepan 20.7 for another example, and they are $13k more than the Klipsch, but low and behold someone within seconds pops up and says these are Mid-Fi speakers. I kind of bet I could ask about a Sonus Faber Aida at $130k and within a few seconds someone will pop in and call them Mid-Fi as well. When do we reach "Hi-Fi" these days? Is it simply an endless and baseless dick-measuring contest? Seems like it. If we were talking cars we always have the guy who brags about the 0-60 times of certain cars, but it's clear that the 0-60 time alone does not qualify a car to be a "supercar" as there are so many other things the car must have and do to make it into that class, and like speakers there is not always 100% agreement on what the factors are. When do we reach Hi-Fi status for speakers??? 


If I had debate team, I would try to recruit holydean as the lead. As for hifi/midfi, I only know what makes me happy within my budget and hifi/midfi be damned. Seems the OP left this thread to float like a big ol’ turd in a tub.

Glad we all mostly agree on the ridiculous nature of the terms, and the overall view of what moves us from the mid level to the higher end. The way I figure it, if a set of speakers is delivering the full range of audio (not always 20-20k from mains as we can use subs) then the rest of the package will be the quality of the build and the quality of the components. For me the measure is the sound first of all. We are in the year 2023 and we have countless companies that are able to deliver dynamic full-range sound from relatively inexpensive gear, and frankly if they are delivering it, it's what high fidelity is all about. Past that the cost would be because of the use of better or more expensive components, higher cost for a niche brand, etc. I think if we did a bunch of truly blind tests, there would be a lot of disappointed folks as some of the lower end makers may come out as winners when sound is the only measure :-) I never stated what I owned so not to color the conversation. My current main speakers are Polk SDA-1C (driven by Yamaha M85) from about 1987, and a pair of McIntosh LS340 (driven by McIntosh MC462). Have not had anyone listen and tell me that I did not have a hi-fi system :-) Still looking at the next pair of speakers however, and all the input and advice is welcome!

Speakers as well as equipment becomes hi fi as soon as it sound good to YOU! This hobby is full of people who think $ is the qualifier for hi fi. My whole system would be considered by most here the high end of mid fi but that does not matter I like the way is sounds. Great sound stage great dynamics and zero fatigue. All I need for the most important part of the hobby to enjoy the music!


A musically satisfying component/system where the owner recognizes the existence of a strata of performance well above the current level and may, or may not, feel compelled to pursue it.